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Coaches Blog

Are you a Cyclist or a Biker?

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

By Don Jackson

Let me ask you: Is there a difference?

When someone mentions the title "bike rider" to me, I have to admit I get a little offended. I have invested a lot of time, energy, and resources into the sport. To be called anything other than a cyclist is not something that I would consider a compliment.

It’s hard to represent the entirety of cycling culture and the people who comprise it with just one word. Language has subtle degrees of difference, meanings, feelings, or tone, and the meaning of a word can vary wildly by person. So, I thought a bit about what is the difference between a “cyclist” and a “bike rider?” That includes the connotations of the words —the implications of it, the images that come to mind, and even the feelings it evokes. That’s a lot harder to pin down.

Let me throw out my vision and then you can add some of your own---

CYCLIST- A person who habitually rides a bicycle as a means of competition or fitness wearing appropriate cycling clothing, embracing a level of training and commitment to attain their desired goals.

BIKE RIDER- A person who rides a bicycle as a means of transportation, often wearing daily street clothes, sometimes without a helmet, and who is very conscious of traffic patterns.

So, I want to know your thoughts: What’s the difference between a “cyclist” and a “bike rider or biker?”

Either way you do it, riding a two wheeled self-propelled thingamabobber is awesome!”

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